Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Give 52 Week 16 - Sweet Ball of Smiles

Give 52 Week 16
Cheryl Houston 2015
I have found myself, my friends and my family in a season of life where our parents are aging and we're starting to lose them. It's a sad season but not an unexpected one. No one lives forever but we'll take as much time as granted.

My sister-in-law, Lori, lost her sweet mom, Myra, last Saturday evening so I wanted to share something with her to let her know her mom will always be remembered and loved.

Lori is this bubbly, curly, blonde hair, sweet ball of smiles that makes me laugh. We can have deep conversations about life or laugh over taste tests to see if we can actually taste the difference between fat free or full fat whip cream. I just knew for sure I would be able to taste the difference but no, I could not.

She's an encouraging coach to hundreds, a wonderful wife to my brother, a super mom to my niece and nephew, and I know her mom and dad think she's the best daughter in the world.

I'm looking forward to seeing her and my family today.

Happy Thanksgiving.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Give 52, Week 15 - Make Everyday Beautiful

Give 52 Week 15
Cheryl Houston 2015
I woke up at 2:45am on Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday and was kind of panicky feeling. I hadn't written week 15's post! Oh no! I almost got up at 3:00 to write it.

Wait a minute! I remembered it was Tuesday and I still had time. And, really, if I didn't get my weekly post up until mid morning on a Wednesday, the world would not come crumbling down. Not yours. Not mine.

I met Katie when she moved to Dallas for the summer and we both participated in House of Shine shenanigans. We walked in the Susan G Komen together many years ago along with our friend, Heather. You have a friend for life when you share a small pink tent together after walking 20 miles for 3 days. Just saying.

Katie now lives in Florida and works at Florida State University in housing. Katie is pretty young herself but she works with even younger people getting their start out at college. An important job. She trains Resident Assistants on creating community within their halls. Freshman students! Get involved with your school community!

I just love being around Katie when I get the chance because she just has a positive spirit about her and I want to steal it from her! I want it to rub off on me. The students that get to work with Katie are truly blessed people and it just goes to show you that not all your mentors have to be someone who has already done it all. It can be a much younger person living out their authenticity that inspires you to do the same.

I know from following Katie on social media she's already making everyday beautiful.

It's her gift.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Give 52 Week 14 - Child of My Heart. Sweetface.

Give 52 Week 14
Cheryl Houston 2015
The Give 52 Project has me realizing that I have a thing for authors.

I love diving into a book and really feel like I'm learning something new. Or finishing a book that has inspired me to change my way of thinking and/or taking steps for improvement.

This quest of Give 52, for example, is inspired by Chris Guillebeau's, The Happiness of Pursuit.

Austin Kleon is another one of those authors. His books Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work  have shaped this project of mine. For example, Chapter 6: The Secret: Do Good Work and Share it with People. Uh, hello? Give 52 is all about me attempting to do good work and sharing with people.

I read Austin's books in 2014 during my Year of Purpose. I was struggling with feeling like my job and my art had no purpose. His books have helped shape my routines of being creative and have opened my mind to new possibilities. Austin's books give artists the permission and validation we need along with some really helpful advice in creating your work. I don't know why artists struggle so much with needing permission and validation but I find it to be so true.

My husband thanks you for the advice- keep your day job.

I follow Austin on Instagram and he has two sweetfaced boys which I totally love. They make me miss that time with my own boys. This piece is similar to the work Austin does with blackout poems and the little boy kind of reminds me of his boys.

This piece is a little different than other pieces I've created here and was started in an online class I took with Lynn Whipple called Word Play. We created art in books. I was skeptical about drawing in books at first but now no book- new or old- is safe from my paints.

Austin has a new book out called Steal Like an Artist Journal and it's a lot of fun. If you're looking for inspiration for creativity check out all of his books. You won't regret it. Thank you, Austin!

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Give 52 Week 13 - Hello!

Give 52 Week 13
Cheryl Houston 2015
I lived in Park City, Utah for about 9 years.

I worked at Jess Reid Real Estate for about 6 years.

A couple of years after I started, the office was remodeled and my desk was situated next to my friend and office mangers, Diana.

Diana is this fun and spicy red head who likes to drop the F Bomb- just like me! I mean, it just holds so much weight and is just plain necessary sometimes.

Not only do I have so many great memories working with Diana she shares her birthday with my son, Drew- Halloween Birthdays! Happy Birthday!

 I always loved making her laugh- like the year I put the decorative angel on my head and told her "Merry Christmas, Diana."

Or after her husband passed away, I would pick up the phone and say, "Hi Mike. Yeah, Diana's here. Okay, yeah, I'll tell her." and then I would hang up and say, "Diana, Mike says hi."

We cooked these huge casseroles of chicken spaghetti for an after conference dinner and we didn't defrost them soon enough so they were still frozen when we were done and all that work- down the drain.

My desk cubicle had both a front and a back and we would put this big umbrella up over it, called Chica's Cantina and hosted many of happy hours.

I miss that camaraderie at work. It was such a fun place to work and Diana was such a good friend to me so I just wanted to send her a big HELLO! Miss you, friend!

This is my gift. I give it to you.